The officials, celebrants and staffers were celebrating the fact that to date, more than a quarter of a million young Jews from around the world have enjoyed a free 10-day tour of the Jewish State, courtesy of the program.
Public Information and Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein and dozens of dignitaries were on hand to greet the newcomers and alumni who arrived with El Al’s “Decade Airplane.” Among those who arrived on the flight were new participants from
“About 12 years ago, a group of North American Jews had their own dream – that a young Jew, from anywhere in the world, should have the ability to set foot in the state that Herzl created. They wanted this opportunity to be available free of charge. They were mocked and their idea was seen as impractical and grandiose,” Edelstein said. “But this project grew from an idea to a reality. Today, nearly a quarter of a million Jews from around the world – and now you – have visited
“May you learn, eat, dance, cry and sing with us during your short visit here. And in the years to come, may you continue to seek out ways to strengthen yourselves and your connection to
They were mocked and their idea was seen as impractical and grandiose. But this project grew from an idea to a reality.
The program’s alumni from around the world joined those who now live in
A unique Birthright-Taglit Israel “fingerprint flag” was inaugurated at the ceremony, entering the Guinness Book of Records for the world’s largest collective work of art.
The special flag was designed with 28,267 fingerprints of the program’s participants over the past two years, each imprinted on a small piece of paper before they returned home from
‘A Moment of Festivity’
“This is a moment of festivity for the Jews in
The program, considered the most successful Zionist project in the Jewish world, has resulted in far higher numbers of Jewish youth supporting
According to a study conducted by Leonard Saxe of
At present, 21,000 young people had already registered for the 8,000 spots in the program that are available this season – and that only in the first 48 hours of registration in North America – as compared with a total of 14,000 registrants a year earlier.
Charles Bronfman, founder and co-chairman of the Birthright-Taglit program, noted, “Many thought this dream would never come true, and that a 10-day tour of